Big Ten Tournament: Round 1 Preview

Written March 14th, 2013 by Ken

It’s hard to believe that such a competitive season has culminated to this. One tournament, the week before the big dance. For the first time in it’s history, the B1G Tourney has sold out before play even starts. We have seen some great opening round games the last few years, that have set up teams to a championship game run. Today, we don’t expect much different. We have a slate full of competitive games with huge implications on the line.  Here is a look at today’s opening round games with a short preview of what to expect on the hardwood in Chicago in the opening round.

 

#8 Illinois vs. #9 Minnesota
This will be a hard game to figure out; both teams come in with similar records and both play schizophrenic (due respect to those diagnosed) basketball. Illinois comes into this game losers of 3 of their last 4 games. Further, they have failed to cover the spread in their last five games, meaning they won by fewer than expected and lost by more than expected. Not exactly the performance of a team peaking for post-season. These teams split the season series, so this game is the tie breaker with the opportunity to play #1 seed Indiana in next round.
Illinois is led in the backcourt by Brandon Paul (G, 6’4”, 15.7 ppg, 2.8 apg) and in the frontcourt by Nnanna Egwu (F/C, 6’11”, 6.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg). Minnesota is led in the backcourt by Andre Hollins (G, 6’1”,  , 3.5 apg) and in the frontcourt by Trevor Mbakwe (F, 6’8”, 10.0 ppg, 8.7 rpg). Both teams shoot about the same, but Minnesota is a far superior rebounding team (Off Reb % of 44.3), although they are far more prone to turn the ball over (21% of possessions). Best bet for a good game is for Paul to light it up from long range paint while Mbakwe has his way in the paint. Minnesota is favored by 2, sounds about right.

Tip-off is at 12 Noon EST on BTN.

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Ohio State Rips Minnesota 71-45

Written February 20th, 2013 by Jason

In a lengthy regular season that results in a conference tournament followed by a national championship tournament, it’s hard to call a game on a Wednesday night against Minnesota a “must win” game. But that’s exactly what tonight’s battle at the Schottenstein Center with the Minnesota Golden Gophers was for our Ohio State Buckeyes basketball team. Coming off a horrible loss on Sunday at Wisconsin and with Michigan State looming this Sunday, the Buckeyes needed the Gophers to right the ship and did just that in a convincing 71-45 win.

With the win the Buckeyes improve to 19-7 on the year, 9-5 in the Big Ten.

Deshaun Thomas

Deshaun Thomas

Aaron Craft’s buzzer beating three ended what was a first half of missed opportunities for Ohio State. The Buckeye defense regained its lost mojo and forced Minnesota into 12 first half turnovers but could only convert the miscues into ten points. The Bucks lead 29-23 at the half, but you had the feeling they could have blown the game wide open at several different spots.

The second half turned out to be a different story. The Buckeyes continued to clamp down on defense, meanwhile shots began to fall and easy transition buckets found them up 41-31 at the 12:00 mark and they never looked back.

Deshaun Thomas led all scorers with 19. He was followed for Ohio State by Shannon Scott with 11 and Laquinton Ross with 10. Minnesota was led by Andre Hollins with 11 and Oto Osnieks with 10.

The Buckeyes have now won 6 straight over the Golden Gophers. Tonight’s 26 point win is the largest in the series with Minnesota since the Buckeyes abused the Gophers 94-63 on March 4th 1992. Read More

Breakdownability: Minnesota at Ohio State

Written February 19th, 2013 by Ken

School: University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Location: Minneapolis, MN and St. Paul, MN

Founded: 1851

Student Population: 51,853 total, 30,375 undergrad

School Type: Public

Stadium: Williams Arena, AKA ‘The Barn’

Seating: 14,625

Opened: 1928

Head Coach: Orlando ‘Tubby’ Smith

Experience: 6th year

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tBBC B1G Basketball Roundtable – Part Two

Written October 2nd, 2012 by WVaBuckeye

With basketball season rapidly approaching and a lot of information to digest from around the conference, I thought it was high time we hear from bloggers representing them. We finish off the series in roundtables with our last seven today! We hope you enjoy the feature and give us plenty of feedback, and be sure to check out Part One.

Good Teams across the B1G this year

Introducing our comrades from around the B1G  we start off with Rick Reese of the Iowa Blog Black Heart Gold Pants; Brian Rosenthal, Lincoln Journal Star writer and Husker Extra writer; Penn State writer for StateCollege.com Ben Jones; Philip Rossman-Reich writer for Lake the Posts ; Jonathan Foster, writer for From the Barn, one of my favorite B1G blogs.

I honestly had issues trying to round up bloggers for TTUN and for the Fighting Illini, and have the only Michigan fan I like helping out in Giuliano, (So Fla Wolverine  to his twitter mates). tBBC main man for basketball Eric  will do us the honor of covering the Illini.

Who are the key returning players?

Black Heart Gold Pants

Rick Reese. Black Heart Gold Pants. Iowa Roy Devyn Marble, Aaron White and Zach McCabe are Iowa’s returning starters. There’s also Gabe Olaseni and Melsahn Basabe coming off the bench. Marble holds a slight edge over Aaron White as the teams top returning scorer. Marble averaged 11.5 points per game last season while White averaged 11.1. White was a do-it-all freshman that as freshmen do, only got better as the season carried on. McCabe and Basabe averaged 7.8 and 8.2 rebounds per game. Basabe suffered the dreaded sophomore slump but will hopefully benefit this season with the return of a true center in Iowa’s lineup. 

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